Forza Motorsport 7: Hands On with the E3 Demo
Forza Motorsport 7 arrives this fall! On Sunday the biggest and best Forza Motorsport game made its worldwide debut on stage at the Xbox E3 2017 Press Briefing. Today, the doors to E3 2017 are open and we’re giving you an inside look at the Forza Motorsport 7 demo that is running on the show floor on actual Xbox One X hardware and for the rest of the week. For those of who can’t be at the show in person, consider this your in-the-cockpit tour of the biggest racing game in Forza history. Strap on your helmet, and let’s get started!
Welcome to Dubai
Your first stop in the E3 demo is in Dubai, one of our brand-new tracks in Forza Motorsport 7. As a “crown jewel” track, Dubai joins tracks like Prague and Rio as a showcase not just for the graphical beauty that is part and parcel of Forza Motorsport 7, but also as a challenging race circuit in and of itself, designed to bring out the best in both the driver and their car. And for Dubai, you’ve got a premium example of power and poise with the brand-new 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, the same car that made its worldwide debut on stage at the Xbox Press Briefing on Sunday.
From the moment you take control of the 911 GT2 RS, you’ll see, hear, and feel how the power of Forza Motorsport 7. No matter which driving camera you prefer, you’ll immediately sense the danger and power of the machinery you’re controlling. The Porsche sounds furious from the moment you step on the gas. Your first few turns on Dubai are relatively quick, including a fast right-hander after the start/finish straight, but you can’t help but notice the powerful forces at work as you work to overcome the temptation to spin the car’s rear tires with too much gas, and to deal with the violent camera shake that defines driving powerful cars at their limit in Forza 7.
The Dubai circuit in Forza Motorsport 7 gives player a glimpse of the harshly beautiful environments that make up the Middle Eastern setting. After negotiating high-speed sections of highway that surround the Dubai city center, you’re taken up into the mountains and encounter a section of the Hafeet Pass, one the best driving roads in the world. You speed through the twisty uphill sections, admiring the incredibly detailed rock formations before arriving at the top of the mountain and the famous Hotel Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet.
After a quick right-hander that takes you through the hotel’s grand entrance (and its jostling brick surface), you’re screaming back down the mountain, pushing the power of the 911, and hoping the downforce of the car is enough to keep you stuck to the road. The rock formations gently transition to endless sand dunes and you’ll eventually enter the long right-hand tunnel with an amusing warning sign at the entrance: “Maximum Speed Limit 100 (kph).” Yeah, not today.
After popping out of the tunnel, you’ll pass under the Al Barsha Toll Gate with a view of the city center off in the distance (yep, that’s the unmistakable spire of the Burj Khalifa tower you’re seeing). But don’t worry, no need to stop and pay a toll; after all, you’ve got another lap waiting for you…
Battle of the Behemoths
Next up, we’re off to Italy and Mugello! The famed circuit, located in the Italy’s Tuscany countryside, has been completely rebuilt for Forza Motorsport 7 to show off the stunning raw beauty of this world-famous track. Full of challenging elevation changes, tricky turns, and one of the longest start-finish straights in the racing world, Mugello is ideal racing space for any car… or truck. Thank goodness, too, because in this race, you’ll be driving the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Tankpool24 Racing Truck, a behemoth of pure speed and surprising maneuverability. With its impressive power and its intimidating cab height, the Tankpool Racing Truck is a prime example of the kind of variety and fun that fans will find in the more than 700 vehicles in Forza Motorsport 7.
Before any of the three race experiences in the Forza 7 E3 demo begin, you can choose between numerous options. From setting new assists (including our new Friction Assist setting which, when enabled, prevents players from getting stuck in sand or grass when going off the track) to changing out your Driver Gear, there’s lots of options to choose from here. In the full version of Forza 7, there will be even more choice – players will be able to swap out tunes and change cars when loading, for example, whether in single player or multiplayer.
Now, on to the race. You’ll need to quickly acclimate to the height of the cab in the Tankpool; after all, the Mugello start/finish straight is long but it’s not eternal. Before you know it, you’ll be running into that famous hairpin right-hander and heading up the hill. In first-person view, you can take advantage of the new closer cockpit camera option, which eliminates the steering wheel and brings players closer to the windshield – perfect for players who prefer to play racing games with wheels but still want to stay immersed in the cockpit view.
Fight your way through this field of heavyweights – wrestling with your eight-geared monstrosity built for racing and you’ll earn another checkered flag. Now it’s time for yet another race of a very different stripe.
Outlast the Storm
Your setting: The Nürburgring GP circuit
Your car: The 2015 Nissan #1 Nismo Autech GT-R
Your mission: Victory, no matter the cost
This time, you’re heading to one of the most heralded locations in all of motorsport. The legendary Nürburgring is the source of endless racing lore; set within the Eifel Mountains, where the weather can and often does change with a moment’s notice. (Yes, that’s foreshadowing).
Clouds line the sky during the rolling start and, before you know it, you’re tackling the tight right-left complexes that make the Nürburgring such a challenging place for professional race car drivers. Embroiled in a battle to rise above your mid-pack start, it isn’t long before Mother Nature throws you another wrinkle: rain. A few drops to start with, nothing too concerning, you think By the time you’ve arrived at the hairpin Dunlop-Kehre, the lowest part of the track, the rain has gone from bad to worse. and at the downhill bend of Turn 13, puddles have appeared and lightning and thunder are crashing. Welcome to dynamic track conditions in Forza Motorsport 7.
Take a deep breath. Yes, puddles might be appearing before your eyes, but you know what to do here. Remember your race craft. Careful with those brakes and gently apply the gas out of the corners, and please do avoid those puddles. Don’t worry that visibility is limited and that things outside only seem to be getting worse. That’s racing after all.
And weather, as it often does in the Eifel Mountains, tends to change. By Lap 2, the rain has gone from “terrifying” to “merely frightening” and, look!, is that a glimpse of sun in the sky in the distance? The rain might have let up but you’ll still need to deal with the effects of the downpour, including puddles that remain on the ground and the slippery conditions that result. You’ve outlasted the storm and evening is approaching on the Ring.
The race may be over for now it won’t be long before another challenge comes your way.
Forza Motorsport 7 arrives on the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs beginning on October 3.